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NSF Names Sean Jones as Directorate Head; Sethuraman Panchanathan Quoted

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Sean Jones
Sean Jones Directorate Head NSF

Sean Jones, former acting deputy division director at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) division of materials research, has been appointed to lead NSF's mathematical and physical sciences directorate. Prior to his appointment, Jones most recently served as acting assistant director at the MPS directorate, the agency said Tuesday.

"Sean Jones’s expertise and experience as a leader both in academia and industrial research are rich perspectives that we need as we advance this agency into the future," NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. "Sean has an excellent track record of fostering scientific discovery and the mission of NSF, and he brings the kind of enterprise focus that we need to get things done at speed and scale. Dr. Jones is the ideal person to lead this critical area of NSF."

Jones started his career at NSF in 2009 as program director. He also led research and development teams at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies and two undisclosed startup companies. He worked as a senior scientist at the University of Florida and assumed the roles of department chair and professor for optical engineering at Norfolk State University.

"This is an exciting time for mathematical and physical sciences, and I am honored to continue working with such an extraordinary community," Jones said. "MPS advances some of the most compelling scientific questions that grow the U.S. economy, develops the industries of the future, enhances the nation’s global leadership in innovation, and ensures our national security."